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Most countries also have laws that prohibit the employer from asking for this information, it's still not OK to lie. Refuse to disclose, yes, but don't lie.

Edit: guys, you should probably consult a lawyer. If you don't refuse to disclose but lie instead, that's called deception and at least in the EU it's a criminal offense. Also, morality, huh?

Is deception in general illegal in the EU? I don't think that is the case in the US. Fraud in the US requires that the person being deceived suffers an injury as a result of their reliance on a misrepresentation of a fact. That would be the case if you were applying for a loan because your income affects your ability to repay the loan, but I don't think it would be the case for an employer because they aren't harmed by your income being lower than what you tell them it is.

Yes, deception is illegal even if no one was, is or will be harmed; the rule is that it's illegal if the deception was made for profit (not just monetary). There are many situations where you profit from deception even though no one is harmed, and that's illegal.

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